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Old 04-07-2009, 09:17 PM   #171 (permalink)
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sh*t-hot reviews, i'm checking out Mind Bomb, shame about the cover though (is that Matt Johnson on the front?) - they could have at least had a brain with a mushroom cloud coming out of it. Also I don't think you'll meet anyone anywhere who didn't think 'The The' wasn't a stupid name
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:48 PM   #172 (permalink)
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Imma go get some The The too! 1000th post eh .
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:49 AM   #173 (permalink)
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Mind Bomb is a hugely underated album. Top top review there.
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:44 AM   #174 (permalink)
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These albums are delicious. Who the heck is Captain Beefheart?

I like the album choice for The kinks but I would have gone top twenty at least.

Can't wait to see the final 8.

Jackhammers icon is hilarious.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:26 PM   #175 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhhhKevin View Post
I take that back.. What happened to The Byrds and their music from the 60's era? If anyone really wants to listen to some good music from The Byrds, I think they should listen to songs like "My Back Pages." A song originally by Bob Dylan, but the Byrds have remastered the song.
I'd be lying if I said I was a massive fan of most 60s pop. Sweetheart Of the Rodeo is there because I think it's the best country rock album of all time, being the one which helped bring it to mainstream.

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sh*t-hot reviews, i'm checking out Mind Bomb, shame about the cover though (is that Matt Johnson on the front?) - they could have at least had a brain with a mushroom cloud coming out of it. Also I don't think you'll meet anyone anywhere who didn't think 'The The' wasn't a stupid name
Yeah, it's Matt Johnson. Amazing album but, as you say, shame about the passport photo on the cover.

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Imma go get some The The too! 1000th post eh .
Yep, I'm officially part of the 1k+ Crew

For anyone who feels like checking The The out, Soul Mining is a great album too - not really in the same league as Mind Bomb but well worth a listen all the same.

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Mind Bomb is a hugely underated album. Top top review there.
Thanks I probably used the words 'dark' and 'ambitious' about 70 times altogether, but I believe I've made my point.

Thanks for the Soul Mining link btw - really enjoying that one.

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These albums are delicious. Who the heck is Captain Beefheart?

I like the album choice for The kinks but I would have gone top twenty at least.

Can't wait to see the final 8.

Jackhammers icon is hilarious.
My friend, you've got a whole trove of avante-garde treasures awaiting you Check him out on youtube and get an album called Safe As Milk before anything else.

As for the Kinks, it is an absolutely top-drawer album, but putting it in the #30-11 bracket (the upper echelon of musical genius) would've meant a headache over reshuffling the whole thing. It's in the list anyway, so at least I haven't completely ignored it eh.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:52 AM   #176 (permalink)
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I could just copy and paste my old review of this here, but that'd be a cheap shot, so here's number 8 in all it's re-reviewed glory

8. Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Imperial Bedroom (1982)


1. Beyond Belief
2. Tears Before Bedtime
3. Shabby Doll
4. The Long Honeymoon
5. Man Out of Time
6. Almost Blue
7. ...And in Every Home
8. The Loved Ones
9. Human Hands
10. Kid About It
11. Little Savage
12. Boy with a Problem
13. Pidgin English
14. You Little Fool
15. Town Cryer

Having released six studio albums and one live album in the space of about five years, you could forgive Elvis Costello and the Attractions for being a little jaded upon returning to Eden Studios to record yet another LP. At first, this was exactly how things went - for the first couple of weeks of recording the band simply pounded out a selection of sludgy, hungover and uninspired songs which sounded like little more than a pale imitation of their earlier work. It took a moment of sober reflection, the hiring of Geoff Emerick to sit in the producer's chair and the renting of Eden for a further six weeks to turn what could so easily have been one of Elvis Costello's worst albums into an absolute, horrifically overlooked masterpiece. From sounding like they were trying to beat the songs into submission, Costello and co took a much more overdub-heavy, considered and compositional approach to recording to produce a labyrinth of an album with shades of new wave, rock 'n' roll, 30s torch music and even classical and psychedelia.

Overall, the album is a grim, mid-tempo affair and, as with the best album-openers, Beyond Belief reflects this nicely - a gloomy, bass-driven number, propelled by a fantastic drumbeat from Pete Thomas and featuring the kinds of alternating keys and notes in the vocal tracks which dominate this album's sound. The 'I've got a feeling - I'm gonna get a lot of grief - once this seemed so appealing - now I am beyond belief' chorus is another sign of what lies ahead on the record, with regards to the jaded, disenchanted lyrical theme. Tears Before Bedtime, while still coming from the same sort of grim manipulation of new wave area, is the first truly brilliant song on show, being slightly more upbeat musically while doing little to sacrifice Costello's pissed-off-young-man lyric. The following Shabby Doll is a bit of a standout. Despite carrying the musical and lyrical themes along nicely and not being a bad song at all, it doesn't go anywhere very interesting musically and is a tad overlong, and probably the weakest point on the album.

The next six songs though are definitely among Costello's finest and more than make up for it. The Long Honeymoon gets by on the back of a wailing accordion, keyboardist Steve Nieve's jazzy piano flourishes (which are one of the common strong-points of the album) and Costello's occasional swathes of distorted guitar, and is the first true artistic departure here. Nieve shines again behind the keyboard on the monolithic Man Out Of Time, which is another example of how much the new studio approach benefited the songs (it's earlier recording is just a turgid, sludgy rock song). Nieve's given the space to shine on Almost Blue but this time in a very different way, as the Attractions show their versatility as a backing band by recording a slow, mournful and deeply affecting torch song. To mark the middle of the album though is an artistic u-turn which borders on the bizarre. For ...And In Every Home, over a sparse band performance Nieve and a certain George Martin compose a madly ambitious arrangement for a 40-piece string-and-horn orchestra for Costello to sing over, resulting in another absolutely superb song which doesn't sound too far removed from classical music. The Loved Ones and Human Hands delve into comparably accessible territory, both being terrific, uptempo piano-led tunes (the latter of which features one of Costello's best vocal performances) which wouldn't have made bad choices for singles. That said, they don't sacrifice the ambitious approach to studio craft which dominates the album one little bit.

Over the next trio of songs, Imperial Bedroom takes a turn for the darker, starting with the jazz-styled Kid About It; another very fine song indeed. Little Savage bears the same resemblance to Costello's earlier new wave output as Beyond Belief and Tears Before Bedtime, being a dark and pretty miserable song (featuring a damn cool organ solo in the bridge). Boy With a Problem is a sister-song to Almost Blue, being a deeply emotional musical ballad with another superbly tight rhythm section performance and virtuoso piano track from Nieve.

After which we move on to the last section of the album, this one being an excellent trio to put the lid on a brilliant record. Pidgin English is what makes Imperial Bedroom an album that warrants a rambling review in a nutshell - labyrinthine vocal overdubs, wonderful lyrics, fitting and non-intrusive orchestral arrangements, a tight rhythm section, an intelligent mid-song tempo-change, etc. Lovely Spanish guitar solo too. No idea what's with the video (it seems to fit somehow though). You Little Fool, driven by Nieve's work on the harpsichord, has the same kind of spine as Pidgin English, this time put through a psychedelic mangle (if you can imagine such a thing) with yet more sublime results. In fact, this is the closest Costello would ever come to writing a psychedelic song. The closer, Town Cryer, is up there with You Can't Always Get What You Want, Rock 'n' Roll Suicide and all the very best and heartstring-tugging curtain calls. Following a frankly perfect piano intro, it's a slow-burning, torch-lighting end to a brilliant record. The string arrangements (again composed by Nieve and Martin) which take the song to its fadeout are musical perfection as well.

What we've got at the end of the day is one of the very best albums of the 80s which somehow so many overlook. The fact that, despite widespread critical acclaim, it didn't spawn any hit singles could possibly explain that, but who cares eh. What matters is that here is where fifteen songs come together to produce one of the moodiest, most intelligently written and composed rock albums from one of Britain's most overlooked talents. It's all about Costello's wordplay, Emerick's production values, the rhythm section's adaptability, the orchestral arrangements and Nieve's wonderful work from behind the piano keyboard when it comes to this classic. Bloody marvellous stuff.



Last edited by Bulldog; 04-12-2009 at 01:56 PM. Reason: typos!
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:56 AM   #177 (permalink)
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Was expecting this after a few other picks (ie top 6 ish), but nonetheless, top review, as per norm.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:35 PM   #178 (permalink)
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I'm sold. Send me this shit down
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:46 PM   #179 (permalink)
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Was expecting this after a few other picks (ie top 6 ish), but nonetheless, top review, as per norm.
Cheers pal There are a few surprises left over (particularly with the top 2). We'll see when I get round to them I suppose.

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I'm sold. Send me this shit down
Good call sir Just upping it now. Could take about an hour, what with how crummy the connection is here and all
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:53 PM   #180 (permalink)
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Cheers pal There are a few surprises left over (particularly with the top 2). We'll see when I get round to them I suppose.


Good call sir Just upping it now. Could take about an hour, what with how crummy the connection is here and all
No rush mate honestly. Looking forward to the top 5!
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